The Comelec Special Second Division ruled in favor of the Cusi faction, whose party chairman is President Rodrigo Duterte. The division’s decision was stated in a resolution released to reporters on Friday.
The Cusi faction earlier asked the poll body to declare as illegitimate the PDP-Laban faction led by Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Senator Manny Pacquiao, who is running for president.
Senator Pimentel is the son and namesake of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, who co-founded the party.
Saying that the Cusi wing’s May 31 and July 16 national council meetings and its national assembly held on July 17, including “prior and subsequent act done pursuant thereto,” are “valid,” the Comelec division recognized the party officials of the Cusi faction as “true and official” members of the party.
“Considering that Chairman Duterte’s chairmanship is an indisputed and well-settled fact in the aforementioned dates. It is also undisputed that Chairman Duterte’s acts on even dates are valid and effective. The fact that he presided over the election of the new sets of officers and committee chairpersons validates the entire process, making the [the] officers as the duly elected officers of PDP-Laban,” the resolution further read.
These meetings and assembly, however, were earlier branded by the Pimentel-Pacquiao faction as “illegal” and against the party constitution.
The Pimentel group and the Cusi wing within PDP-Laban have been at odds with one another over the leadership of the party since last year.